Former MLB pitcher to use $5.1M settlement over spine surgery complications to fight concurrent procedures: 5 things to know

Written by Laura Dyrda | May 09, 2019 | Print  |

Former MLB pitcher Bobby Jenks reached a settlement with the spine surgeon who performed a spinal decompression on him that resulted in complications, according to an NBC Sports Chicago report.

Five things to know:

1. Mr. Jenks underwent spine surgery at Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital in 2011 and during his recovery experienced headaches and spinal fluid leaks. He later found out that he was one of two surgical cases the surgeon was overseeing at the time, in a practice called concurrent surgeries.

2. Mr. Jenks had a second procedure and his career as an MLB pitcher ended.

3. In 2015, Mr. Jenks sued his surgeon and Mass General when he realized his procedure occurred concurrently with another patient. Since then, he has advocated against concurrent surgeries.

4. Mr. Jenks received $5.1 million in settlements and plans to use the settlement to further "teach the general public about the great dangers connected to concurrent surgery." However, earlier this year the JAMA published an article with findings from 60,000 overlapping operations and found the risk for complications was the same for concurrent surgeries as it was for non-concurrent procedures, except for high-risk patients.

The study included outcomes from total knee and hip replacement as well as spine surgery, coronary artery bypass graft surgery and craniotomy.

5. Mr. Jenks, a relief pitcher, was integral in the White Sox 2005 World Series win and later played for the Boston Red Sox.

More articles on spine surgery:
Dr. Lawrence Lenke: The big opportunity for innovation in spine patient safety
Artificial intelligence could transform spine – where AI is now and where it's going
Physician Partners of America brings on 3 more former Laser Spine Institute surgeons

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